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South Carolina is one of the few states that requires a licensed South Carolina attorney to handle many of the major aspects of a closing. Major aspects of a closing include supervising the title search and title commitment, recording deeds, mortgages, and other important documents, as well as supervising the escrow process and disbursement of funds to all parties involved. The South Carolina Supreme Court requires these issues to be handled and supervised by a licensed South Carolina attorney.
WHAT IS THE ATTORNEY’S ROLE IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION?
An attorney’s main role in a real estate transaction is to gather the necessary information from both buyers and sellers. This includes loan payoffs, mortgages, and deeds. We will also conduct a title search, and order a survey if the buyer decides they want one. We will communicate with both parties and come to an agreed upon date and time for the closing, and instruct all parties on what needs to be signed and anything else that may need to be done.
We will also handle the title commitment and the title insurance for the buyer. South Carolina is unique because our closing attorneys are also able to administer the title insurance that is required by all lenders. We always recommend buyers of real estate to get title insurance, because their lender’s title insurance policy does not protect them. This is because lender’s title insurance only protects the buyer, and an owner’s title insurance policy protects the buyer.
WHO NEEDS TO ATTEND A REAL ESTATE CLOSING?
Any party that has an ownership interest in the property needs to attend the real estate closing. Those looking to be on the new deed or mortgage should also be present. If someone is not able to attend for any reason, we have mechanisms in place that will allow a representative to sign for them if the lender is open to this option.
WHO PAYS THE ATTORNEYS’ FEES IN A REAL ESTATE CLOSING?
In South Carolina, the attorney’s fees are paid by the individual outlined in the property contract. For a residential closing, a typical contract will have the buyer paying the attorney’s fees. This is because in South Carolina, the buyer is the one allowed to choose the settlement agent or closing attorney.
In commercial closings, both the buyer and the seller will have their own attorney, and each side will pay for their own attorney’s fees. In some scenarios, the buyer’s attorney will act as a settlement agent. The settlement agent’s role is solely to move the process along and handle the document production and recording. In these scenarios, each party will pay for their own attorney’s fees.
HOW MUCH MONEY WILL I NEED AT THE CLOSING?
Fund disbursement is determined by a number of things, including the purchase price, the loan amount, mortgage insurance, homeowner’s insurance, property tax, attorney’s fees, and title insurance.
All these things are outlined in the closing disclosure form that is given to residential buyers and sellers. At the end of the closing disclosure form, it will show exactly how much the buyer and seller need to bring to the closing and what those funds are for.
For more information on Real Estate Closings In South Carolina, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (864) 982-5930 today.
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If your considering buying or selling real estate in South Carolina or are already negotiating a contract we'd love to help you close on your transactions. Use the link below to view our closing fees related to common real estate transactions.
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Bryan De Bruin, Esq.
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Gary De Bruin, Esq.
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